Quick Info

  • New Zealand
  • Spring
  • : Panther Program
  • : Anthropology and Archaeology, History
  • : TBD - TBD
  • : In-State: TBD; Out-of-State: TBD
  • : TBD
  • : 3.0 GPA


Courses will be taught at New Zealand’s oldest University, the University of Otago.  Your courses will continue as the program moves to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.  Courses may count towards UCIS Asian Studies certificate. 

Students will take all of the courses taught by the University of Pittsburgh Faculty

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
This course surveys the enormous richness and variety of cultures and political systems of societies in different ecological conditions within the Pacific, giving students the background to situate more detailed regional variations in life ways throughout the Pacific arena.

(Dr. Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
Peace, Conflict and Ordinance studies are major topics of interest in both political anthropology and international studies today.  This course will be enhanced by visits to Maori settlement places, and the Centre for Pacific Island studies at the University of Otago, and through collaboration with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies there also.

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
This course will focus on landscapes and the environment in the Pacific region.  It also examines the histories and meanings given to the environment and the landscapes that are the product both of nature and the cultural agency of humans and will be enhanced by local excursions.

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
This will be a directed studies course examining medicine, ritual and coping with environmental change.  Pacific Islanders today face a number of challenges, resulting from historical forces in their lives.  Such challenges entail medical problems, with conditions such as obesity, and continuing exposure to infectious disease.  Island populations use communal rituals to adapt to changes.  Climatic changes also mean increased risk to natural disasters at certain seasons of the year and rising sea levels that threaten islands with flooding and a need for transplacements.

Students are required to take 1 humanities course taught by University of Otago Faculty. Equivalent to 3-credits.

To see a full-list of options please visit: https://www.otago.ac.nz/summerschool/study/papers/  (Please make sure you scroll down to the humanities section)

*Please note: Otago course offerings may change from year-to-year. Please check with your program manager.


On-Site Faculty And Staff

Pitt in the Pacific FacultyProgram leaders Dr. Andrew Strathern and Dr. Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) have more than 40 years of combined professional experience in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands generally. Pitt in the Pacific brings together a lifetime of their intellectual interests and heritage with traditions of Scottish historical settlement and contemporary engagement with Pacific Islands. Strathern and Stewart have lived, worked, and research in both the Pacific and Scotland for decades, and have published extensively on their findings in scholarly venues.  They lead the program with foci on Culture, History, Environmental Sustainability and Responses to Climatic Change, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Ritual and Religious Practices, and Language usages within the Pacific, while allowing students to explore their creativity in comparative studies important to the global world that we live in. The Program Leaders are experts on all of the topics to be studied as well as experienced travelers through the Pacific.  Strathern and Stewart have lead this program before and have a wealth of experience.


See their webpage at: http://www.stewartstrathern.pitt.edu/. Their work has also recently been covered by the University Times.

They have authored books and many essays on all of the course sections, including the following books:

---Strathern, A. and Pamela J. Stewart.  Second edition, "Curing and Healing: Medical Anthropology in Global Perspective".

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern. Ritual: Key Concepts in Religion.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern. Working in the Field: Anthropological Experiences across the World.

---Strathern, A. and Pamela J. Stewart.  Peace-making and the Imagination: Papua New Guinea Perspectives.

---Strathern, Andrew, Pamela J. Stewart, Laurence M. Carucci, Lin Poyer, Richard Feinberg, and Cluny Macpherson. Oceania: An Introduction to the Cultures and Identities of Pacific Islanders.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern (eds. ) (2010).  Landscape, Heritage, and Conservation.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern (eds.) (2003) Landscape, Memory, and History: Anthropological Perspectives."


Dunedin Accommodation:

Students will be housed in the University College on the campus of the University of Otago. UniCol is a fully catered, quality tertiary accommodation provider. The majority of the individual bedrooms are located in two residential towers with spectacular views across the campus, city and modern Annexe block. University College boasts well-maintained facilities including a multitude of large and small common rooms, dining hall, computer rooms, seminar and study rooms and a gymnasium. Three meals per day will be included during while staying on campus at the University of Otago.

Three senior managers live on-site and are available around-the-clock to provide support and assistance. A regular programme of social and recreational events allows students the opportunity to make strong friendships and enjoy the wider aspects of living at the University in Dunedin.

Rarotonga Accommodation:

Students will be housed at a 3-star hotel in double occupancy rooms. Accommodations will be clean, safe and comfortable with internet access and good access to public transportation or walkable to the town center. 


Pricing And Dates

Spring Pricing and Dates:

Program not running in Spring 2019 (slated to return in 2020). Please click Apply Now above to signify your interest in the program.

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
Arrive in New Zealand Depart New Zealand

*Keep in mind that dates change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: TBD from TBD in ROOM: TBD. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!”

Inclusions & Exclusions


  • Tuition for 15 credits 
  • Housing in Dunedin and Rarotonga
  • Airport transfer
  • On-Site Orientation
  • Health Insurance
  • Local SIM Card
  • Cultural activities throughout the program/Faculty led field trip experience each week may include the following:
    • Guided tour of the Museum of Otago
    • Day trip to Orokonui Sanctuary
    • Day trip to Traditional Maori Marae
    • Day trip to Otago Albatross Colony
    • Visit to Avarual School, Rarotonga
    • Progressive Dinner with Families in Rarotonga
    • Whale Lecture and visit to Whale Museum in Rarotonga
    • The Cook Islands Library and Museum Guided tour
    • “Pa’s Nature Walk” Guided forest hike in the Cook Islands
    • Traditional Carving Lecture and Demonstration
    • “TAPU’AE – Footprints of Our Ancestors” Tour
    • Traditional Pareau Making Lecture
    • Visit to University of the South Pacific Campus
  •  Students will have access to all on-campus facilities and technology access


While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($400)
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Flights are not included. There will be a required itinerary though.
  • Meals and personal expenses 

    Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.


Special Information

Please note that the dates of the program are different then Pitt's academic calendar. Your program will conclude in early March. The dates of the program are to better align with New Zealand's academic calendar. Your courses while at the University of Otago will be intensive to cover the amount of material needed.

Please note that Wi-Fi connectivity will likely be unavailable in the islands.

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.